No matter what the skill, it’s universally acknowledged that practice makes perfect. Whether you are just setting out at the beginning or have been tickling the ivories for a long time, there are ways to maximise time spent at the piano, as accomplished pianist Dr Adam Alexander can attest.  

Beginners and advanced players wishing to push themselves to the next level must ensure that they use the most effective practice methods to develop their skills, rather than simply going through the motions. 

What Are the Best Ways to Polish Piano Skills? 

We all know that practice is essential; much like homework for children at school, practising builds on the foundations laid down during lessons. The most important thing to do is to set aside at least 20 minutes a day for your practice. Select a time of day that works for you and build it into your routine. 

Piano players should also warm up their fingers beforehand by carrying out finger exercises and playing scales. Cold hands translate to stiff fingers, making it more difficult to flow across the keys. Once warmed up, it is easier to embark on learning to play a new track, although the most effective way to do this is to break it down into smaller chunks and perfect a section at a time. 

Finger exercises do not always have to take place at the piano either. Practising movements away from the piano helps to improve muscle memory. 

In today’s society, we also have more tools at our disposal. There are various apps that can support players to develop their skills such as the free Yamaha Chord Tracker and Smart Pianist apps. These clever apps, compatible with certain Yamaha keyboards, can listen to a chosen song and create a chart with corresponding chords for players to follow. 

Practice Habits That Are Best Avoided 

It is paramount not to neglect the less enjoyable aspects of piano playing. Continuous practice of chords and scales helps to strengthen the fingers. In addition, players should take their time and avoid rushing. It is far better to play a piece slowly and correctly rather than rushing it and making mistakes. 

Last but not least, don’t shy away from a challenge. If a section proves tricky, throwing in the towel will not help you to progress. Repeating a complicated section over and over eventually pays off. Good practice habits develop skills further and allow players to progress.